This summer OCAT Xi'an is honored to present Xiong Wenyun's solo exhibition. "A Thousand Rainbows" takes a retrospective look at the artists' case studies and is organized by Xi'an-based curator Wang Mengmeng. Following the closure of the OCAT site in Xi'an, the exhibition will take place in Shenzhen in C2 Space, North District, OCT-LOFT.
The phrase "a thousand rainbows" is taken from the way of Nirvana in Tibetan Buddhism, and references a miracle that indicates a spiritual place. In referencing this legend in her work, Xiong Wenyun draws directly upon her life experience. As a teenager she was sent to live and work in the part of Sichuan province that is home to many Tibetan people. It became an important source of inspiration as her artistic career developed and underwent its own form of rebirth from one period to the next.
An important female artist, Xiong Wenyun complements the territory of contemporary art in China from the 1980s to the present. "A Thousand Rainbows" is the first retrospective exhibition of her work, presenting some of her earliest series of paintings, and her most important large-scale art project The Flowing Rainbow, a performative work that combines painting, photography, installation and documentation. It was the first of its kind in the Chinese contemporary art in the late 1990s.
Xiong Wenyun's works span many forms. She has evolved her own system in ways unique within the field of contemporary art, combining the expression of personal feelings with social humanities into an ingenious and distinctive language. Her work maintains a simple, direct force that is not confined to a "white cube", but meets its audience in a range of public spaces.
About the Artist
Xiong Wenyun was born in Chongqing. In 1972, as an educated youth, she was sent to Xuankou Commune in Wenchuan, Sichuan. She entered the Chinese Painting department of Sichuan Fine Art Institute in 1979, before studying in the Department of Traditional Chinese Painting of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. In 1985, she completed a course in Chinese landscape painting at Beijing's Academy of Chinese Painting.
In 1987, Xiong Wenyun went to Japan, receiving a master's degree in art from Tsukuba University in 1993. During her stay in Japan, she held two solo exhibitions in the National Art Museum, showing Dislocation, Japanese colourful Japanese rock paintings, and experiments with abstraction. In 1999, she began a series of visits to Tibet, which led to her large-scale experimental art project The Flowing Rainbow.
In 2001, she created "Kongkong", a fictional cartoon character that became the vehicle for much of her experiments with education for the young and old, launched in earnest in 2005. In 2012, Xiong Wenyun became Art Director of the Five Colors Foundation and, in 2016, was appointed Art Teaching Director of L-Art Education Institution.
About the Curator
Curator Wang Mengmeng is a professor, and director of Public Art Department, at Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts. She holds a Doctorate in contemporary art criticism, and has published several books, writing articles for New Art, Art Research, Art Observation, Pictorial, Contemporary Artists, and so on. She is also a nominator for China's "Second Circle Art Youth Award", "Fourth Ivy League Plan", "Rising New Stars", and other exhibitions concerning young artists. As an independent curator, she has planned exhibitions at the National Art Museum in Beijing, the Waterfront Gallery, Salt Spring Island, UK, and The Minories Galleries, Colchester, UK; at OCAT Xi'an, Xi'an Museum of Art, Xi'an Museum of Contemporary Art, Cui Zhenkuan Museum of Art, Xi'an, among others. She is currently engaged in teaching, as well as curatorial work in the field of contemporary art.